Citizen's Police Academies have been around for several years across the nation. The purpose was to give the general public a better idea of how officers do their job, why they do their job the way they do and what the end results are for doing that job. Most of the general public's knowledge of police work has come from watching a host of police television shows and movies. However, most crimes are not solved in a 30 to 60 minute timeframe. Chief Ross McCarty wanted to make the Citizen's Police Academy a priority of his police-community relations programs. The Urbandale Police Department held its first Citizen's Police Academy in January 2010. There were seven graduates who attended weekly meetings and training for 10 full weeks.
The Citizen's Police Academy is open to individuals who have reached the age of 21 and who are either a resident of the city of Urbandale or have business connections within the city of Urbandale.
Cost: Attending Citizen's Academy is free.
Time Commitment: There is a time commitment to participate in the academy. Classes are generally 4 hours long and are held once a week. There are 12 class days.
Topics include a wide array of experiences across the different divisions within the Police Department.
Citizen Police Academy Alumni assist the Police Department in a variety of event and volunteer opportunities including National Night Out events, Trunk or Treat, Shop With A Cop, etc. Alumni meet once a month among themselves to stay up to date with upcoming events and opportunities.